In earlier post, we looked at the reasons that lead to project failure. Let’s look at some of the tips to keep project under control, keep it within scope and deliver on time, on budget with desired quality. Let me start asking you these questions:
7 Questions To Answer To Help You Keep Projects Under Control
What Are We Doing: Does It Fit with Overall Business Strategy?
Are few more questions like
- Who is going to benefit with this project?
- How are they going to benefit?
- How is it going to help our organization?
- Does it align with organization’s goals?
- What should we do to align it with organization’s goals
Once you have an excellent understanding of a given project and have answers to above questions: it will guide you through different phases of project planning, monitoring and execution to keep projects under control.
Have You Done Your Planning Well? Are You Realistic Enough?
I like this adage and I’d like to share it one more time – IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL.
One should be investing in project planning. If you go to the details of a project scope, project plan, resource plan, risk plan, communication plan, financial plan: you will realize whether a give plan is realistic to get executed or we need to make it realistic.
The idea is to stop scope creep, avoid budget overrun and dragged project timeline.
Have You Identified and Involved Key Stakeholders?
If you haven’t been able to identify whom this project deliverable is going to help, or whom are we partnering/collaborating with, who is sponsoring this project : you don’t seems to know what you are doing and how you are going to help. In case of any critical issue, challenge – who are you going to contact and convince?
Once you have identified key stakeholders, you will have to ensure that you are involving them in the project for two reasons
- To get management support/buy-in
- Avoiding any last minute surprise/miscommunication
Are You Being Transparent and Communicating Regularly with Project Sponsors?
It always helps to be transparent, true with project customers/sponsors right from the beginning of the project to the end about all important aspect of project.
Remember: Project sponsors would never like to see unwanted surprise. The frustration that may cause out of unwanted surprise can badly affect your business and it should be avoided at any cost.
The right strategy is to keep sponsors informed – regularly, clearly and transparently.
Do You Regularly Conduct Project Meetings?
First of all, I am not suggesting you to schedule or spend hours in the meeting. It can be short/quick round-up meeting. But my point is: regularly have a project meeting to keep everyone on the same page, track project progress, understand/guide project to move in right direction.
Regular project meetings can ensure team is engaged, their difficulties are heard/addressed and you don’t bump into last-minute-surprise as well as everyone is informed/communicated.
Many times, people are lost in micromanagement issues, take things personally, tend to drive project in different direction than meeting its goals. You clearly want to avoid that for greater good of the project.
Are You Addressing Team’s Concerns and also ensuring They Are Not Over-Loaded?
A project manager is as good as his team is able to deliver. As a team member, you will have to ensure that you are not under-assigning your project team neither you are over-loading them with project activities. The workload should be good enough to enable them to deliver best-of-their-capabilities.
You don’t want your team to burn out with work. Burnt out team cannot deliver quality output. You should hear their aspirations as well as concerns. It is a good idea to offer them some solution (I am not suggesting you to over-promise or to commit something out of the way).
Remember: Happy team members can be loyal and loyal team members can go extra miles to deliver a project successfully or even save it from failing.
Are You Using RIGHT Project Management Tool?
Times have changed. The old days of spreadsheet based project planning are not desirable. Offline project management tool is not helping for effective project planning or collaboration – such tools are not real time. You need right project management software to do real time project planning, to inform team members of their project activities, let them comment on tasks, create issues, create risks, upload documents.
Plan well, involve right people, monitor projects regularly and communicate transparently with stakeholders. As you will address issues proactively, you will be better prepared to manage unforeseen and keep projects under control.
Zilicus offers all in one project management software ZilicusPM that provides complete project management control for project and portfolio managers; at the same time makes it really simple for project team members to stay on top of things. If you have been managing projects with conventional spreadsheet/ MS Excel templates or emails, it is the right time to start using online project portfolio management software. ZilicusPM is great platform for better project collaboration. Take a screenshot tour of project management software ZilicusPM and Sign up for 30-days free trial of project management software ZilicusPM